Sometimes I wonder why I find it so wonderful to be a part of a wedding. I have often tried to evaluate my feelings on this subject. To a lot of business people a customer is just that, a customer. To a wedding officiant, however the customer becomes ‘one of my couples’. I was looking back at the pictures of weddings I officiated at in 2007, and every one of them had a little story behind it and made me smile.
One wedding was remarkable for being the most difficult to find. It was in Roger Williams Park in Rhode Island, I live in NewHampshire, so it was a 100 mile trip to make the ceremony. Being English as I am, the holidays are not second nature to me yet, and it turned out to be a major holiday weekend. Not a bad thing until we get to the park. I think every single soul living in RI was there. It took us almost an hour to navigate the crowds at the park, and there were 7 weddings that I encountered. At each one I had to stop, ask if they were my couple, and move on. Needless to say, I was 10 minutes late, the bride was too busy to answer her phone, and eventually called me on my cell phone. Mother of the bride was cranky when I pulled up, did not want to hear how driving 100 miles was easy compared to finding the wedding in the park amongst thousands of people. All the weddings I had stopped at were in rose gardens, under columnar roofs, in archways and all the usual places. This wedding was under a tree with a ribbon on it. That explains why I couldn’t find it. My contracts now have a clause that asks for specific directions that MUST be accurate. A designated contact who keeps their cell phone on until I arrive, and MUST answer it! And allowances for location….they knew the park would be crowded, I did not. I could really have used that information.
The wedding was a beautiful one that included a third vow to their child, and the couple were charming. MOB was still cranky, because I made one of the wedding party go home and get the license before I would do the ceremony….the law is the law :-). No license = no wedding. If you can remember all the flower petals and bubbles, you can remember to bring the piece of paper to make it legal. Can’t you? Needless to say, I was not popular with MOB, but I liked the couple and was proud to be part of their day.